Diabetes, affecting roughly 38.4 million Americans or 11.6% of the U.S. population, is not just a health condition — it’s a reality that shapes lives. This number is further bolstered by the 97.6 million American adults, representing 38% of the adult population, who are living with pre-diabetes. Behind these significant statistics are individuals whose daily lives and ability to work are significantly impacted by diabetes. Navigating the world of disability insurance claims with diabetes can be complex, as the disease uniquely affects each person’s capacity to maintain their professional responsibilities. This article aims to break down the process, providing clarity and support to those grappling with diabetes diagnosis or the disability insurance benefits for diabetes.
Table of Contents
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease where the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood glucose. It can also occur when the body cannot efficiently use the insulin that it does produce. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. The former is characterized by deficient insulin production that requires administration of insulin on a daily basis. Type 2 prevents the body from properly using glucose (sugar) for energy. Type 2 is much more common than Type 1.
Symptoms of Diabetes
The varied symptoms of diabetes, such as fatigue, feeling thirsty, blurred vision, frequent urination, or unintentional weight loss can significantly disrupt daily activities and routines, affecting not only professional responsibilities but also general quality of life. This comprehensive impact on day-to-day functioning is a critical consideration when exploring a disability insurance claim, as it encompasses both work-related challenges and overall life management.
Long-term Effects of Diabetes
Diabetes is not just about managing day-to-day symptoms; it also poses serious long-term health risks. These include:
- Cardiovascular and Organ Damage: Diabetes can lead to significant damage to blood vessels, critically affecting the heart, kidneys, and eyes, and nerves. This vascular damage increases the risk of severe health events like heart attacks and strokes.
- Kidney Failure: The disease can progress to kidney failure, necessitating life-altering treatments like dialysis.
- Vision and Nerve Damage: Persistent high blood sugar levels can result in permanent vision loss. Additionally, diabetes can cause nerve damage, leading to chronic pain or numbness, particularly in the limbs.
- Foot Ulcers and Amputation Risk: Foot ulcers, a common complication, can have dire consequences, and could lead to the need for amputation.
The debilitating nature of these long-term effects can drastically limit an individual’s ability to work or perform daily tasks, which is a crucial factor to consider for long term disability insurance benefits claims.
How Does Having Diabetes Affect Eligibility for Short-Term or Long-Term Disability Insurance?
The symptoms and complications caused by diabetes can be disabling and prevent individuals from working on a consistent basis. Thus, it is possible to receive short-term and long-term disability benefits due to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. If you are unable to work as a result of diabetes-related symptoms, you should file a claim for disability benefits. When filing a claim, it is vital to make clearly articulate the specific ways in which diabetes hampers your ability to fulfill your job duties. This includes detailing any work-related tasks you are unable to perform due to the disease’s symptoms or its long-term health complications.
It’s also important to back your claim with comprehensive medical documentation that outlines your diagnosis, treatment, and the ways in which your condition impacts your daily life and work.
This documentation should paint a clear picture for your insurer, showing the direct link between your diabetes and your reduced work capacity.
Remember, the key to a successful disability insurance claim for diabetes lies in demonstrating how the condition uniquely affects your professional responsibilities and overall work ability.
What Steps Should You Take if Your Diabetes-Related Disability Claim Is Denied
ERISA Diabetes Claims Process and Legal Representation
Just because your insurer initially denies your disability does not mean that you are precluded from receiving benefits. You are legally entitled to an appeal of the denial of your claim, which is likely governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Navigating an appeal, especially when governed by ERISA, can be complex and overwhelming; and that is especially so if you are unfamiliar with the process. Therefore, if you suffer from diabetes and have or are considering applying for disability benefits, you should contact a disability insurance attorney who possesses experience appealing denials of benefit claims. The attorneys at DeBofsky Law are ready to help.